The Gangemi team is confident Long Beach will be fighting out the finish of the Beaufine Stakes (1000m) and believe their new acquisition has been underestimated in the market.
Long Beach made the best possible start for the Gangemi’s when he flew the gates and set a fast tempo in front to defeat Miss Conteki in a 1000m handicap a fortnight ago.
Miss Conteki, trained by Simon Miller, tried tenaciously from the back of the field to chase down Long Beach and lost no admirers when falling a length short.
Long Beach inflicted Miss Conteki’s first campaign loss and ended a run of six straight victories for the Eurozone mare, a winning spree that commenced at Ascot in April.
Miss Conteki is favourite to bounce back and turn the tables on Long Beach in Saturday’s Beaufine Stakes.
She’s been a firmer with TAB Fixed Odds to take out her maiden black-type race. After opening at $3.20 she’s been backed into $2.75.
Long Beach, who won five races for previous trainers Grant and Alana Williams, is $7.50, tightening from his opening quote of $9.
“I’m surprised he opened at $9,” said Michael Gangemi, who co-trains Long Beach in partnership with brother Chris.
“I didn’t expect him to be that quote after such a dominant win.
“I thought he would be shorter.
“I hope punters got the price because I think he’s an even better horse than when he won first-up for us.
“He’s thriving in his new environment and we think he has a big future ahead of him.
“Winning these black type races is never easy, but to win it within a month of buying him will be terrific.
“We couldn’t be happier with him.”
Long Beach, tackling his first stakes race, has drawn perfectly in barrier one. In-form jockey Clint Johnston-Porter has been booked for the ride.
In the past fortnight, Johnston-Porter has claimed the Strickland Stakes (2000m) on Naughty By Nature and the Aquanita Stakes (2000m) aboard Tena Koutou.
With Luke Fernie’s speedster Mervyn expected to set the pace in front, Gangemi said Long Beach can be adaptable.
“I was that excited to draw barrier one with Mervyn in the race,” Gangemi said.
“Long Beach can take a sit off Mervyn and be camped behind.
“Although he won out in front last-start he doesn’t have to lead.
“He can track Mervyn and be poised to strike at the furlong.”
Gangemi is confident Long Beach can end his cameo winter campaign on a high.
With an eye to the Ascot carnival later this year, The I Am Invincible gelding is almost certain to bypass Saturday week’s Bolton Sprint (1000m).
“We’ll see how he goes, but I’m 99 per cent sure he’ll go to the paddock after the weekend,” Gangemi said.
“We want to give him enough time to get back for the Winterbottom Stakes.
“We have bigger fish to fry.”
The Gangemi brothers can win the Beaufine Stakes for the first time as a partnership.
Chris is a dual winner after preparing Rock Magic (2015) and Durendal (2018).